Through the darkness of the Dublin cityscape, the Gravity Bar, hovering above the roof at Guinness Storehouse, emits radiant white light into the sky, reminiscent of the seductive, creamy head on a pint of world-renowned Guinness Draught. A curious feeling dances in the brain as your eyes trace the outline of the ultra-contemporary pinnacle that merges with tradition, embedded in the 1904 brick structure beneath. Your appetite, whetted by the titillating eclecticism of the exterior, draws you into the hallowed enclave to discover secrets of the past as they blend with contemporary life.
From an idea that began on a cocktail napkin, Guinness Storehouse at St James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin has been host to over three million international visitors since 2000 when it recently moved back to its original home where Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease with Mark Rainsford in 1759. Its interior is a celebration of modern engineering. The structure is formed around a voluminous glass-pint atrium, entwined with the modern drama of imposing steel, and kissed with the merging eye candy of natural and artificial lighting.
Upon entering, visitors are given a palm-sized Lucite bubble in which a droplet of Guinness Stout is sealed. Figuratively, these tourists become a part of the stout itself, as they climb through the structure, rising like the bubbles in a pint of Guinness. At the culmination of the visit, this bubble is scanned in the Gravity Bar where the visitor is given a pint of Guinness to sample, the metal strip within the bubble is deactivated, and the bubble becomes the souvenir of a lifetime.
Marked with the commitment to continuously offer sojourners a buffet of increasingly delightful experiences, Guinness Storehouse will be opening their newest exhibition area on January 10, 2006. The new display promises to share details of the Guinness experience, welcoming enthusiasts to peer into secrets that have been held for two-and-a-half centuries.
The newest exhibit includes expanses where select ingredients and the brewing process draw you into the heart of Guinness. A combination of archived footage, 3D graphics and personal contact create an experience that will linger in your memory. You will peek at the original yeast strain used by Arthur Guinness to create his world-class pint; fill with awe as you are immersed in the bouquet of hops embedded in a giant copper brewing kettle; be one of the lucky aficionados to start a new batch of Guinness for worldwide distribution; experience the skills of the Tasting Laboratory side-by-side with the masters, where they sample Guinness Draught, Foreign Extra Stout and Extra; and be privy to the archived Hall of Fame in the Arthur Guinness Room.
This seven-story structure that houses the Guinness Archives is home to the Learning Center where bartenders from across Ireland gather to learn the art of pouring the perfect pint – a two-part protocol that takes exactly 119.5 seconds when done properly. It is home to the Arrol Suite and the Rainsford Room, available for seminars and events. The Brewery Bar and Source Bar located within the 5th floor gallery and concourse is available for special events and occasions.
Just a little side note for the ladies: If you have always believed that Guinness is a heavy, high-caloried beer that is the exclusive domain of men, open the door to your own pleasure. One pint of Guinness Draught has 210 calories. Compare that to a pint of semi-skim milk with 260 calories or a pint of orange juice with 220 calories, and you can see the benefit of drinking "liquid bread" for your lovely figure.
Guinness Storehouse is open 7 days a week, except for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Good Friday. For more information or to purchase advance tickets online, visit the Guinness Storehouse website.